Safeguarding Interests in Major Security Fields
Nuclear capability is the strategic cornerstone to safeguarding national sovereignty and security. China's armed forces strengthen the safety management of nuclear weapons and facilities, maintain the appropriate level of readiness and enhance strategic deterrence capability to protect national strategic security and maintain international strategic stability.
Outer space is a critical domain in international strategic competition. Outer space security provides strategic assurance for national and social development. In the interest of the peaceful use of outer space, China actively participates in international space cooperation, develops relevant technologies and capabilities, advances holistic management of space-based information resources, strengthens space situation awareness, safeguards space assets, and enhances the capacity to safely enter, exit and openly use outer space.
Cyberspace is a key area for national security, economic growth and social development. Cyber security remains a global challenge and poses a severe threat to China. China's armed forces accelerate the building of their cyberspace capabilities, develop cyber security and defense means, and build cyber defense capabilities consistent with China's international standing and its status as a major cyber country. They reinforce national cyber border defense, and promptly detect and counter network intrusions. They safeguard information and cyber security, and resolutely maintain national cyber sovereignty, information security and social stability.
Countering Terrorism and Maintaining Stability
China firmly opposes all forms of terrorism and extremism. As mandated by law, China's armed forces participate in operations for maintaining social order, prevent and combat violence and terrorism, safeguard political security and social stability, and secure the public's right to live and work in peace.
The PAP fulfills missions such as guarding key targets, on-site security protection, setting check points on key passages, and armed urban patrols. In accordance with the law, the PAP supports civil authorities in law enforcement operations to combat criminal gangs and terrorist activities, actively participates in the maintenance of public order, and prevents and responds to potential threats to China's political security and social order, thus making a significant contribution to the Peaceful China initiative. Since 2012, the PAP has deployed large numbers of troops annually in security duties, counter-terrorism, emergency response, and maritime rights protection and law enforcement. It has completed around 10,000 security assignments during major events such as the G20 Summit, the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting, the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, the BRICS Leaders Meeting, and the SCO Qingdao Summit, and participated in the response to 671 hostage situations, incidents of severe violence, and terrorist attacks. Since 2014, the PAP has assisted the government of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in taking out 1,588 violent terrorist gangs and capturing 12,995 terrorists.
The PLA supports the civil authorities in maintaining social stability, provides security for major events, and responds to emergencies in accordance with the law. It is mainly tasked with missions such as counter-terrorism, NBCE detection and test, medical relief, and transport support. It disposes of potential safety hazards in the waters and protects security in the air over and around major event venues.
Protecting China's Overseas Interests
Overseas interests are a crucial part of China's national interests. One of the missions of China's armed forces is to effectively protect the security and legitimate rights and interests of overseas Chinese people, organizations and institutions.
The PLA actively promotes international security and military cooperation and refines relevant mechanisms for protecting China's overseas interests. To address deficiencies in overseas operations and support, it builds far seas forces, develops overseas logistical facilities, and enhances capabilities in accomplishing diversified military tasks. The PLA conducts vessel protection operations, maintains the security of strategic SLOCs, and carries out overseas evacuation and maritime rights protection operations.
In August 2017, the PLA Djibouti Support Base entered service. The base has provided equipment for the maintenance of four escort task groups, offered medical services for over 100 officers and sailors on board, conducted joint medical exercises with foreign militaries, and donated over 600 teaching aids to local schools.
When the security situation in Yemen deteriorated in March 2015, a PLAN escort task group sailed to the Gulf of Aden, berthed for the first time directly in an engagement area, and evacuated 621 Chinese citizens and 279 foreign citizens from 15 countries including Pakistan, Ethiopia, Singapore, Italy, Poland, Germany, Canada, the UK, India and Japan.
Participating in Disaster Rescue and Relief
Participating in national development and protecting the public's rights to work in peace are the responsibilities of China's armed forces mandated by the Constitution of the PRC. As stipulated in the Regulations on Participation in Emergency Rescue and Disaster Relief by China's Armed Forces, China's armed forces are mainly tasked with rescuing, transferring and evacuating trapped populations; ensuring the security of important targets; salvaging and transporting important materials; conducting specialized operations such as restoration of transport facilities including roads, bridges and tunnels, maritime search and rescue, NBC rescue, epidemic control and medical relief; eliminating or controlling other major threats, dangerous situations and disasters; and supporting civil authorities in post-disaster reconstruction.
Since 2012, the PLA and the PAP have deployed 950,000 soldiers, 1.41 million militia, 190,000 vehicles and items of equipment, and sortied 26,000 vessels and 820 aircraft in emergency response and disaster relief. They have participated in rescue and relief efforts such as the earthquake in Ludian County of Yunnan Province, the rainstorm and flood in the middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River, and the removal of the barrier lake in the Yarlung Zangbo River. They have assisted local governments to rescue and transfer over 5 million people, treated over 210,000 patients, transported over 360,000 tons of goods, and reinforced over 3,600 km of levees. In 2017, the PLA Macao Garrison sent 2,631 soldiers and over 160 vehicles to assist the government of Macao Special Administrative Region in its relief efforts in the wake of Typhoon Hato.